Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Controlling Names of Backup Files.

Controlling Names of Backup Files

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 23, 2018)

If you choose the option to "always create backup copy" (Word Options dialog box | Advanced | Save area) Word names the resulting backup file like this: "Backup of Accounting Policies.wbk", where the original file was called "Accounting Policies.docx". You may wonder if there is a way to place backups in a different folder, use a different filename extension, or avoid pre-pending the "Backup of" wording at the beginning of the filename.

Some of these things can be changed in Word; others cannot. If you want to change the filename extension for backups, you can theoretically make changes in the Windows Registry. This was easy to do in the menu-based versions of Word (pre-Word 2007), but exactly how it is done in the ribbon-based versions of Word is not as clear.

You cannot change the pre-pending of the "Backup of" wording, and you cannot change the location of the backup files (they are placed in the same directory as the file being backed up). As has been detailed in other issues of WordTips, you can work around both of these issues by simply creating a macro that always saves a second copy of your document every time you save.

Sub FileSave()
    Dim docName As Boolean
    Dim templateFullName As String

    docName = ActiveDocument.name Like "Document#*"
    templateFullName = ActiveDocument.FullName
    If docName = True Then
        Dialogs(wdDialogFileSaveAs).Show
    Else
        ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:="C:\Backups\" _
          & ActiveDocument.name, AddToRecentFiles:=False
        ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:=templateFullName
    End If
End Sub

This macro is meant to be a replacement for the Save command. It saves a copy of the document in the C:\backups\ folder, as well as saving in the current location. The file name for the backup is the same as the original; it does not use the .wbk filename extension.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11760) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Controlling Names of Backup Files.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Filling Table Cells with a Macro

Want to stuff a value into each cell of a table? You can either type the value over and over and over again, or you can ...

Discover More

Determining Month Names for a Range of Dates

Given a starting date and an ending date, you may want to generate the names of all the months between those two dates. ...

Discover More

Toggling AutoFilter

Want a tool that will help you toggle AutoFilter on and off? Excel provides some tools you can use, but you need to be ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Can't Save Edited Document

Each day of using Word is filled with opening documents, editing them, and then saving those changes to disk. So it can ...

Discover More

Saving Documents as Read-Only by Default

When you save your documents, you can specify that they be saved in a "read-only" format so that they cannot be changed ...

Discover More

Understanding MRU Files

Don't you love all the acronyms used in computer terminology? One such acronym--"pertinent to Word users--"is MRU. This ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.